The best brands make customers’ lives easier, more gratifying, and more meaningful.

According to Jack Trout and Al Ries on their high-level book “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind”, there are few steps to be taken in order to gain a permanent spot on your customer’s mind.

1.Being the first in any category is extremely important.

To be #1 in your category, for example, the #1 car rental service (example used in the book), being the first is a huge advantage. It means that you’ve positioned yourself in the prospects (your potential customers) mind first. And it’s hard to take a company down from the first spot.

The analogy that is most often used in the book is a ladder. If you’re the top rung on the ladder, it’s very hard for 2nd highest rung to become the top (think Coke vs. Pepsi in cola’s, or McDonald’s vs. Burger King in burgers). That takes us to the next key takeaway:

2. If you’re not first, create your own ladder.

Instead of trying to fight for a position in the prospect’s mind as the best cola or the best fast food burger, your best bet is to position yourself in a different créneau, or niche. Essentially, creating a new ladder for yourself.

To stick with the car rental example (and now I’m going to start to make up these examples, but they’re relevant :), if the #1 car rental service in the country is positioned as the best car rental service in the prospect’s mind, then position your brand differently. Be the best car rental service for business trips or the best car rental service for trips in Africa & Asia.

The goal is to try to STOP going head-to-head with the #1 in your category and to create your own ladder to be #1 of. In the end, this is could be a good strategy for beating your competitor somewhat less directly. Just because you are positioned as the best service for Africa & Asia, doesn’t mean people won’t see you as the best in Europe. In fact, being more selective in your marketing can help you grow in unpredictable ways.

Instead of having the best burger, maybe you have the best fries?

3. Echo what is already in your prospects minds.

Often times, when trying to plan a marketing strategy, teams look inward. You may have a brainstorm with your team, or think about how YOU see your business (or want to see it) and build your strategy around projecting that. Positioning says to look outward.

Position your business the way that it is already seen in your prospects mind. Does your company think it is the most convenient, but your customers see you as having the best customer service?

Keep pushing on what your customers, and prospects already see your strengths.

4. The name of your brand matters!

This one seems to be self-explanatory, but the name of your brand is important. The name of your brand will automatically hold a position in the prospect’s mind, so keep it relevant.

Consider some top brands like Kleenex, Brauny, and Cottonelle, each of them may seem like just a random name, but look again and you’ll see how they each relate to the position they want the brand to hold in your mind.

5. Don’t line extend.

This is an important one, that is also one that surprised me a lot. A line extending is when you have a strong brand like Coke, and then decide to use the same brand name on a new product. There are of course some areas where line extension may make sense, but often times you should be wary of line extension.

For example, if you were Coke, and decided to start a new juice brand, it’d be in your best interest not to name that brand Coke Juice. Line extension dilutes your brand, and also makes it more difficult for your brand to hold a strong position in the prospect’s minds Coke a cola company, or are they a juice company now? When you do that, you run the risk of the #2, like Pepsi, who may still hold a strong position in Cola, taking the top spot.

It is very difficult, if not impossible, for a single brand to hold a position in the prospects mind on 2 different ladders. So, don’t risk it, and create a new brand. The book offers a lot of great examples for this, so I’d suggest reading it for those details.

6. Peg your brand against other brands.

If your brand is on the newer side, then you may benefit from pegging your brand against a brand that your prospects are already very familiar with. I think an obvious one is something along the lines of: The Rolls Royce of X. Everyone automatically associates the Rolls Royce brand with luxury and glamour. It’s the best of the best.

Currently, I work at a kids clothing company, FabKids. We’re a smaller brand compared to some giants like GapKids, H&M, or Target, and we could easily position our selves against one of these brands. And, like the Rolls example, it doesn’t have to be in any defamatory way. For instance: FabKids is the Target of online kids clothing stores. Automatically, you may think of us as being affordable, fast-fashion. But, in this statement, I’m trying to differentiate us as being the online version of Target, which eludes to us being online only, and possibly us having a superior online shopping experience.

Copywriting is about understanding the psychology of the customer. It all starts with getting in the head of your customer.

Your Digital Marketing Plan: What to Expect During Discovery

Kicking off a strategic digital marketing plan

Discovery is best suited for clients looking for a long-term digital marketing plan, defining (or redefining) themselves or focusing growth in a new, unfamiliar area. A Discovery process serves to answer the high-level “How should we market ourselves?” with a strategic, actionable communications plan. Every Discovery is unique to an organization’s strategic goals, internal staffing, budget/resources and available data. It’s fun!

What is Discovery?

Discovery is an in-depth research process examining your audiences, messaging, platform opportunities, budgets, timeframes, conversion paths and key success metrics.

Deliverable components can include any combination of the following:

  • Persona Development – A deep look into your target audiences from existing data, team interviews, and mini-focus groups. Who they are, where they are, how they communicate and how to speak to them on a personal, emotional level.
  • Messaging Framework – Your overarching messaging that encompasses how you talk to your target personas about your organization as a whole and your specific initiatives.
  • Content Strategy – How to best create or repurpose content across relevant digital channels.
  • Systems Diagnosis – A look under the hood to understand all how your internal marketing/communication tools (CRM, CMS, Email platform, etc.) can best work together.
  • Advertising Strategy – Recommendations on media platforms, creative execution, and flight pacing according to your budget and strategic goals
  • Lead Capture Audit – Specific user experience optimizations to make on key pages and page types to grow your community.
  • Lead Nurturing Strategy – Segmentation strategies based on intake points, persona profiles, and overall marketing goals
  • YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING PLAN: WHAT TO EXPECT DURING DISCOVERY

    Kicking off a strategic digital marketing plan

    Discovery is best suited for clients looking for a long-term digital marketing plan, defining (or redefining) themselves or focusing growth in a new, unfamiliar area. A Discovery process serves to answer the high-level “How should we market ourselves?” with a strategic, actionable communications plan. Every Discovery is unique to an organization’s strategic goals, internal staffing, budget/resources and available data. It’s fun!

    What is Discovery?

    Discovery is an in-depth research process examining your audiences, messaging, platform opportunities, budgets, timeframes, conversion paths and key success metrics.

    Deliverable components can include any combination of the following:

    • Persona Development – A deep look into your target audiences from existing data, team interviews, and mini-focus groups. Who they are, where they are, how they communicate and how to speak to them on a personal, emotional level.
    • Messaging Framework – Your overarching messaging that encompasses how you talk to your target personas about your organization as a whole and your specific initiatives.
    • Content Strategy – How to best create or repurpose content across relevant digital channels.
    • Systems Diagnosis – A look under the hood to understand all how your internal marketing/communication tools (CRM, CMS, Email platform, etc.) can best work together.
    • Advertising Strategy – Recommendations on media platforms, creative execution, and flight pacing according to your budget and strategic goals
    • Lead Capture Audit – Specific user experience optimizations to make on key pages and page types to grow your community.
    • Lead Nurturing Strategy – Segmentation strategies based on intake points, persona profiles, and overall marketing goalsIn other words, who, what, where, when, why and how.

    In other words, who, what, where, when, why and how.

    Who

    An in-depth audience analysis examining any combination of your current databases, prospective audience models, social media audiences, email lists. If you don’t have assets, we can work backwards – by defining your ideal audience segment and then developing targeting strategies accordingly. Your ideal audience is someone who will move past engagement into conversion.

    This comes to life with personas – a profile of your ideal audiences.

    What

    Your key messaging points by persona. This is the substance of your overall content strategy – what you should be talking about and how you should be talking about it in a way that most resonates with your supporters. We find this by looking at your persona target’s content habits – what types of content they are most likely to read, engage with and share.

    This comes to life with a content strategy – a communications plan that highlights your key messaging points.

    Where

    Your best media platforms. Once we know your target persona profiles and your messaging points, we naturally find the best platforms for you to get your message out. Maybe social media is all you need. Maybe you could benefit from a sponsored content campaign. Maybe one big digital takeover advertising will fit the bill. We’ll evaluate your budgets to develop a robust media plan complete with benchmarks to gauge performance and pivot points for maximum ROI.

    This comes to life with a media plan – a breakdown of organic and paid media to reach your target audience with the most effective messaging.

    When

    Your content and promotional calendar. We will prioritize strategies gearing for launch, nurturing, final conversions and key timeframes for your organization (year-end, flagship fundraising, or other identified opportunities).

    This comes to life with a content/campaigns calendar – a 12-month schedule for posting, themes, key campaigns, and ideas.

    Why

    Your conversion funnel. Every digital action is along a conversion path to turn leads into supporters, customers, donors, applicants or activists. We take a data-driven approach and compare your organization’s potential opportunities and challenges against industry standards. We also examine how your current communications flow can be optimized or implemented with lead-capture tools like lightboxes, slide-ins or landing pages.

    This comes to life with conversion benchmarks – your target metrics from initial acquisition through final conversion.

    How

    (And how much?) Your plan of action combining platforms, audience targeting, messaging and follow-up communications. As a bonus, we also take a look at your systems to make sure things will play well together once things are up and running.

    The final deliverable for your Discovery is an actionable digital marketing plan that can easily be handed off internally, to another partner or a Media Cause account team to be executed with confidence.

    How does this help me?

    This helps you move from a mentality of caution and doubt into a mentality of action and testing. Essentially, you are now free from bureaucracy and approvals and ready to confidently move forward with a digital marketing plan rooted in data.

    What is my ROI?

    Our favorite question. We’ve seen costs per acquisition drop by as much as ninety percent. Ninety percent! Instead of acquiring one, you can now acquire ten. We’ve seen qualified audiences give at 1.5x the cost of their acquisition on a first ask. We’ve tapped new markets, converted leads through to applications at a mind-boggling 50% and help best-in-class organizations rebrand themselves and their products.

    Your worst case scenario is NOT doing a Discovery and wasting money on flawed targeting, ineffective messaging and ill-suited platforms. We treat your budgets like our own. We don’t want to see you waste it.

    Great, I want to do this.

    Awesome, we want to do this for you!

"It is amazing when you see the transformation from your old material to the new. I thank these guys for helping South Dallas Battery to look better for the years to come."

Les ButlerOwner, South Dallas Battery

"We have worked together very closely with BRAD to achieve what we wanted. I knew I was in good hands even before we started. I am glad we picked the right people to be our partners."

Patricia BausoneOwner, To Have and To Hold

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